A wildlife photo brings to hand what rightfully belongs in the secretive haunts of untamed wilderness. The best of those photos capture an animal in its natural habitat acting true to its nature. And quite often, as voyeurs, we humans are left in a mindless, awed state. These photos defy words, and a book of such images serves to paralyze the conscientious reviewer with a blinkered type of writer’s block.
Unforgettable Portraits is exactly that: a stupefying collection of animal portraits and images sourced from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, a fifty-three-year and running competition owned by London’s Natural History Museum. Snow leopard, anaconda, wolverine, Dalmatian pelican, Peringuey’s adder, Atlantic wolffish, Philippine eagle, pot-bellied seahorse, kingfisher, blue shark, American bison, Komodo dragon, sperm whale, fennec fox, and dozens of others—exotic plants and insects included—make uncanny appearances, with each photo earning a brief story describing how the moment came to be. Rarely taking a serendipitous snapshot, often the photographers invested days waiting for the exact set of circumstances to line up. Unforgettable Portraits, yes. Your coffee table should be so lucky.
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